As a suggestion when working to resolve a complaint or dispute within an association (whether informally or using the dispute resolution process), committees and members should be mindful of the following:
- The committee should be given an opportunity to respond to an issue before the concerns are raised with external parties.
- It is important to understand that committees are generally made up of volunteers with limited time and resources available to them. Be realistic about the timeframes in which your concerns can be dealt with.
- If you intend to raise concerns or allegations about an individual you should always make sure you have some proof to support your claims.
- Be respectful in your discussions and communications with the committee and association.
- Members have the right to raise concerns about their association and seek the support of other members to effect change. Members should not be punished for speaking up about an issue.
- The committee have a responsibly to ensure that complaints are given proper consideration and the process used to resolve the dispute is fair and unbiased.
- If the concerns relate to a particular member of the committee it is not appropriate for that person to act as the decision maker for the complaint.
- Complaints should be responded to in a timely manner and any agreed timelines should be followed.
- Be respectful in your discussions and communications with the member or complainant.